"Like getting a recommendation from a friend" - A case study of Bonnier Publications' blog reader perceptions on blog content and commerciality

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School of Business | Master's thesis
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objective of the study: The present study was based on media convergence, which has caused media companies to alter their business and incorporate new digital communication channels to better serve consumer needs. The purpose of the study was to focus on Bonnier Publications' blog readers and research their relationship with blogs. The objective was to gain a thorough understanding of how blog readers perceive blog content and commerciality, and what kind of relationship they have with Bonnier Publications' blogs. Methodology and Theoretical Framework: The study was conducted as a qualitative research project using thematic interviews with sixteen readers of Bonnier Publications' blogs as empirical data. Semi-structured, thematic interviews were applied to discover the relationship the interviewees had with blogs as well as their perceptions on blog content and blog commerciality. The data was analyzed through coding and categorization, basing the analysis on the theoretical framework which was built through previous literature presented in the literature review. The framework focused on media convergence, the blog-reader relationship, personal and commercial content, communication methods and eWOM. Findings and Conclusions: The findings provided an in-depth answer to the main research question of this thesis from the perspective of three elements: relationship, content and commerciality. The findings showed that generally interviewees feel a strong emotional bond and a friend-like relationship with the blogger, which is based on the relatable and personal content that blogs publish. They also showed that the relationship was built on one-way communication from the blogger as interviewees rarely sought for interaction. Based on the findings, commercial content showed more fragmentation in opinions in terms of the type, amount and communication. Generally however, the interviewees perceived commercial content positively and perceived advertising in blogs more influential than many other media.
communication, business communication, media industry, social media, blogs, blog content, blog commerciality, blog advertising
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